A randomized controlled trial of nerve stimulation for relief of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy

Todd Rosen, Margarita De Veciana, Hugh S. Miller, Laura Stewart, Andrei Rebarber, R. Nathan Slotnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of low-level nerve stimulation therapy over the volar aspect of the wrist at the P6 point to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Methods: Pregnant volunteers (n = 230) with symptoms of mild to severe nausea and vomiting between 6 and 12 weeks' gestation participated in a 21-day clinical trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a device for nerve stimulation therapy or an otherwise identical but nonstimulating placebo device. The primary outcome measure was self-recorded symptoms according to the Rhodes Index of Nausea, Vomiting, and Retching (Rhodes Index). Secondary outcome measures were medication use, weight gain, and presence of urinary ketones. Results: Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups. A total of 187 women (81%) completed the trial. Pretreatment Rhodes Index scores for the entire population demonstrated no significant differences between study and control groups. The time-averaged change in Rhodes Index total experience of 6.48 for the study group was significantly better than the control value of 4.65 (P = .02). Study patients gained more weight than controls (2.9 versus 1.2 lb, P = .003). There were no statistically significant differences in medication use or urinary ketone measurements. Conclusion: Nerve stimulation therapy is effective in reducing nausea and vomiting and promoting weight gain in symptomatic women in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2003


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